Category Archives: General News
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What a year already! Are we right!? And now, just like the humidity your Keeper’s Report is back (hopefully it’s more welcome than the humidity).

We’re dropping all the latest news and action in the fight for clean water. That’s good because if you’re anything at all like us, you’ve been enjoying a lot of time on the water lately and want to make sure your kids can do the same when they’re older.

Don’t forget, everything you see here is 100% community supported by people just like you. Make a gift today and help make sure our boots stay on the water working for you and your favorite waterway: CharlesotnWaterkeeper.org/give

This month we’re hitting all of our least favorite topics. What are they? You’ll have to read on . . .

So . . .  is it safe to swim?

Not always. That’s why we test bacteria levels in popular rivers and creeks to keep you and your family healthy and safe while enjoying the water. We added 5 new sites this year, including Hendricks Park on Filbin Creek and the Stono River at Sol Legare boat landing.

Testing starts this week and the first batch of results will be out this Friday! Don’t get sick or left in the dark, make sure you stay in up to date with all the latest water quality information:

Know before you go: CharlestonWaterkeeper.org/signup (check water quality alerts)

Download: The Swim Guide

Oh and earlier this year, we got DHEC to close a decades old loophole that allowed unhealthy levels of bacteria in the Harbor and Shem Creek. Now all your rivers and creeks have one consistent standard to protect your health!

We got your back. Now go get wet!

The Nurdle Hurdle continues . . .

40-2 is a great record no matter what sports you like to follow. It’s an extraordinary record for a vote on an anti-plastic pellet pollution bill in the South Carolina Senate. Clean water wins like this happen because you stand up, you show up, and you speak up for your waterways. Huge thank you all of you for contacting your legislators and to Sen. Sandy Senn for leading the way as a champion on this important bill.

Now it’s on to the House next legislative session!

Read the press

ABC News 4 SC Senate passes “nurdle bill” to help curb plastic pellet spills

Count On 2 Bill cracking down on plastic pellet pollution in Lowcountry waterways passes SC Senate

In Case You Missed It

Back in early March we signed a historic clean water settlement with Frontier Logistics for plastic nurdle pollution in your waterways and on your beaches. The settlement will create a $1 million dollar fund at Coastal Community Foundation to support local projects that benefit the water quality and health of the Charleston Harbor.

Read more about one of the largest clean water settlements in South Carolina history.

Or check out all the local and national press on this issue here.

The Number 2 is running (again)

The Number 2 is back at City Marina and ready for service! Thanks to your support, we are proud to be offering a free mobile marine pumpout service to keep your waterways sewage free.

The Number 2 has a whole new fuel system including a handy hatch that will make dealing with issues a lot easier down the road. And, more reliable too!

Reach out to Capt. Meredith to schedule a pumpout or learn more about the Number 2:

Charleston Waterkeeper Mobile Marine Pumpout Service

Quick hits

After last year, our volunteer events are back in a big way and folks are getting muddy and dirty for clean water all the time. Join an event today!

Not up for volunteering? That’s cool, it’s not for everyone. You can show your support for clean water with some super cool Charleston Waterkeeper gear. Shop our online store.

Don’t sleep on the fight for clean water. Stay up to date on all the latest news and action in your favorite creeks and rivers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

And, we’ve finally updated our LinkedIn page. Follow us!

January

Post & Courier

A proposal to split DHEC gains steam, some worry about damaging environmental protection

ABC News 4

Wastewater at toxic superfund site treated and discharged into sewage system, developer says

February

Post & Courier

Saltwater bodies like Shem Creek must meet stricter bacteria standards with new regulation

ABC News 4

Charleston Waterkeeper, NOAA begin pilot study that tests local waters for contaminants

Live 5 News

New pilot study tests Lowcountry waterways for contaminants

March

Post & Courier

SC plastic pellet spill lawsuit settled for $1 million

The State

Company accused of plastic pollution agrees to pay SC nonprofits $1M in settlement

Charleston Business Journal 

Frontier Logistics agrees to $1.2 million settlement in pellet lawsuit

ABC News 4

$1 million settlement reached in Charleston “nurdle” lawsuit

Live 5 News

Environmental groups, company settle suit involving plastic pellets on Sullivan’s Island beach

Count on 2 News

$1M settlement reached in lawsuit over “nurdles” in Charleston Harbor

Count on 2 News

Conservation leaders work to mitigate pollution and threats to Lowcountry waterways. 

DeSmog

$1 million nurdle spill settlement shines light on plastic pollution during shipping

Live 5 News

SC bill aims to prevent plastic pellets in local waterways 

Post & Courier 

SC bill would crack down on plastic pellet spills 

April

Count on 2

DHEC to start annual water quality tests at state beaches

ABC News 4

SC Senate passes “nurdle bill” to help curb plastic pellet spills

Count on 2

Bill cracking down on plastic pellet pollution in Lowcountry waterways passes SC Senate

Count on 2

Earth Day sparks clean-ups throughout the Lowcountry

Big news for clean water!

On March 3, we settled our federal lawsuits with Frontier Logistics over plastic nurdle pollution in the Charleston Harbor and on our beaches! The settlement includes:

(1) An independent audit and inspection of Frontier’s new facility in North Charleston and any upgrades necessary to prevent future spills, and

(2) $1 million in funding for projects that benefit the health of the Charleston Harbor Watershed.

We’re glad Frontier stepped up to the plate and is investing in water quality and the health your beaches and waterways! The money will be used to create a grant-making fund managed and directed by the Coastal Community Foundation. 

What’s a nurdle? Not sure how we got here? Check out the Plastic Nurdle Pollution Press Round Up to get caught up! Local, state, and national press have covered this issue since 2019.

The bottom line here is simple: wins like this don’t just happen. They happen because you stand up for clean water and choose to support this important work. Thank you.

We are strongest together and all of us here at Charleston Waterkeeper are proud to stand with you for clean water today and always!

Give clean water today at: CharlestonWaterkeeper.org/give

P.S. The fight isn’t over yet, we still need better state laws to protect our waterways from future plastic nurdle spills. Stay tuned . . .

Tiny plastic pellets called nurdles wash up on Sullivan’s Island

Sullivan’s Island beach is strewn with tiny plastic pellets, and cleanup isn’t likely

https://www.postandcourier.com/news/sullivan-s-island-beach-is-strewn-with-tiny-plastic-pellets/article_ddd28eb0-aa43-11e9-b1bf-07609bb416e5.html

Environmental experts concerned after plastic pellets wash up on Sullivan’s Island

https://www.live5news.com/2019/07/20/environmental-experts-concerned-after-plastic-pellets-wash-up-sullivans-island/

Commentary: Sullivan’s Island fighting different kind of plastic pollution

https://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/commentary/commentary-sullivan-s-island-fighting-a-different-kind-of-plastic/article_8ed0caec-203c-11ea-8fe6-2320c4da6216.html

 

After a cursory investigation DHEC fails to enforce clean water laws

Plastic pellets still in Charleston waters months after beach spill, environmentalists say

https://www.postandcourier.com/news/plastic-pellets-still-in-charleston-waters-months-after-beach-spill/article_994965fa-f75c-11e9-b495-fbeca4d56e63.html

Microplastic spill in Charleston Harbor prompts calls for stricter enforcement

https://www.counton2.com/news/the-investigators/microplastic-spill-prompts-investigation/

As plastic pellets wash up on SC beaches, state should do more to stop it, lawyers say

https://www.thestate.com/news/state/south-carolina/article236770693.html

 

Charleston Waterkeeper investigates and uncovers widespread plastic nurdle pollution in Charleston waterways and on local beaches

Charleston Waterkeeper keeps finding more plastic pellets in waterway 

https://abcnews4.com/news/local/charleston-waterkeeper-keeps-finding-more-plastic-pellets-in-waterway

National database ranks Charleston second-worst for plastic pellet pollution

https://abcnews4.com/news/local/national-database-ranks-charleston-2nd-worst-for-plastic-pellet-pollution

 

Charleston Waterkeeper, Coastal Conservation League, and Southern Environmental Law Center file lawsuit to stop plastic nurdle pollution and enforce law

Local groups suing company over plastic pellets in Charleston waterways

https://abcnews4.com/news/local/local-groups-suing-company-over-plastic-pellets-in-charleston-waterway

SC plastic pellet mover faces federal lawsuit over Charleston-area beach spills

https://www.postandcourier.com/news/sc-plastic-pellet-mover-faces-federal-lawsuit-over-charleston-area-beach-spills/article_fe380134-691b-11ea-a978-bff2a3fb78e1.html

Charleston nurdle exporter says it was targeted by environmental groups

https://www.postandcourier.com/business/charleston-nurdle-exporter-says-it-was-targeted-by-environmental-groups/article_66c9d78c-cdcf-11ea-a724-6fb0b86c11c5.html

SC environmental groups say pellet exporter is shirking it’s responsibility for pollution

https://www.postandcourier.com/business/sc-environmental-groups-say-pellet-exporter-shirking-responsibility-for-pollution/article_5376c066-de4e-11ea-8314-ab52440410e6.html

 

South Carolina doesn’t have strong enough laws to protect harbor and beaches from plastic nurdle pollution

Editorial: Cooperation’s great, but SC needs nurdle law to protect coast, marine life

https://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-cooperation-s-great-but-sc-needs-nurdle-law-to/article_011455a8-3edb-11ea-b450-633221d0cbc7.html

 

Plastic nurdle shippers have a powerful ally in the South Carolina Port Authority 

Company accused of polluting ocean with plastic has an ally: SC Ports

https://www.thestate.com/news/state/south-carolina/article246064255.html

Editorial: SC Ports Authority needs to stop courting polluters

https://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-sc-ports-authority-needs-to-stop-courting-polluters/article_202e46aa-acc8-11ea-a9c3-b791d12ac36a.html

Editorial: Preserve Charleston Harbor’s environment

https://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-preserve-charleston-harbors-environment/article_78496fb6-bfc1-11ea-9295-a7103ca40b7c.html

Judge denied motion to dismiss, new documents unveiled in 2019 plastic pellet spill

https://abcnews4.com/news/local/judge-denies-motion-to-dismiss-new-documents-unveiled-in-2019-plastic-pellet-spill

SC Ports fights against lawsuit discovery in case about plastic pellet spill

https://www.postandcourier.com/news/sc-ports-fights-against-lawsuit-discovery-in-case-about-plastic-pellet-spill/article_d6f16f60-2820-11eb-b8f3-3f17a6f901ef.html

 

Plastic nurdle pollution is a national and global problem in our waterways

A new plastic wave is coming to our shores

https://www.audubon.org/news/a-new-plastic-wave-coming-our-shores

 

Plastic nurdle pollution cases settled in historic win for clean water

SC plastic pellet spill lawsuit settled for $1 million

https://www.postandcourier.com/news/sc-plastic-pellet-spill-lawsuit-settled-for-1-million/article_5330d994-7b96-11eb-b4e7-b7b8ca40fc27.html

Company accused of plastic pollution agrees to pay SC nonprofits $1M in settlement

https://www.thestate.com/news/state/south-carolina/article249651773.html?fbclid=IwAR0QHqiRb54FjJTu_kCioBy-pADQ-rXEa8jSetdxcgRS_SFJ9L08z3V6r1M

Frontier Logistics agrees to $1.2 million settlement in pellet lawsuit

https://charlestonbusiness.com/news/distribution-logistics/80125/

$1 million settlement reached in Charleston “nurdle” lawsuit

https://abcnews4.com/news/local/company-to-pay-1-million-for-spilled-plastic-pellets-into-charleston-harbor-in-2019

Environmental groups, company settle suit involving plastic pellets on Sullivan’s Island beach

https://www.live5news.com/2021/03/03/environmental-groups-company-settle-suit-involving-plastic-pellets-sullivans-island-beach/

$1M settlement reached in lawsuit over “nurdles” in Charleston Harbor

https://www.counton2.com/news/local-news/charleston-county-news/1m-settlement-reached-in-lawsuit-over-nurdles-in-charleston-harbor/

$1 million nurdle spill settlement shines light on plastic pollution during shipping

https://www.desmogblog.com/2021/03/09/1-million-nurdle-spill-settlement-plastic-pollution-shipping

 

All the work you see here is empowered by our community and supporters just like you. Join the fight for clean water today: CharlestonWaterkeeper.org/give

 

January

As new EPA rule redefines protected waterways, some fear Lowcountry impact

https://www.live5news.com/2020/01/26/new-epa-rule-redefines-protected-waterways-some-fear-lowcountry-impacts/

Rollback of federal waterways protections poses risk in SC (mention and photo) 

https://www.postandcourier.com/news/rollback-of-federal-waterway-protections-poses-risk-in-sc/article_79ec9d1e-3dff-11ea-9cd1-4b8a657ef6b9.html

James Island residents ask for federal help after concerns over James Island Creek (mention)

https://www.live5news.com/2020/01/22/james-island-residents-ask-federal-help-after-concerns-over-james-island-creek/

Municipalities agree to work together to improve water quality at James Island Creek

https://www.live5news.com/2020/01/30/municipalities-agree-work-together-improve-water-quality-james-island-creek/

Editorial: Cooperation’s great, but SC needs nurdle law to protect coast, marine life

https://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-cooperation-s-great-but-sc-needs-nurdle-law-to/article_011455a8-3edb-11ea-b450-633221d0cbc7.html

Study shows high levels of chemicals in Charleston’s drinking water; officials disagree

https://abcnews4.com/news/local/study-shows-high-levels-of-chemicals-in-charlestons-drinking-water-officials-disagree

February

Editorial: This needs to be the last chance for Hollywood’s sewer

https://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-this-needs-to-be-the-last-chance-for-hollywood/article_48e01c80-580a-11ea-81b9-27316a68746e.html

March

SC plastic pellet mover faces federal lawsuit over Charleston-area beach spills

https://www.postandcourier.com/news/sc-plastic-pellet-mover-faces-federal-lawsuit-over-charleston-area-beach-spills/article_fe380134-691b-11ea-a978-bff2a3fb78e1.html

April

Conservation groups mount legal challenge to federal water action

http://www.greenvillebusinessmag.com/2020/04/29/307732/conservation-groups-mount-legal-challenge-to-federal-water-action

May

Is your favorite Lowcountry waterway a safe place to swim

https://abcnews4.com/news/local/is-your-favorite-waterway-a-safe-place-to-swim

June

Editorial: SC Ports Authority needs to stop courting polluters

https://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-sc-ports-authority-needs-to-stop-courting-polluters/article_202e46aa-acc8-11ea-a9c3-b791d12ac36a.html

Environmental challenges reemerge for Charleston development once hailed as green

https://www.postandcourier.com/news/environmental-challenges-reemerge-for-charleston-development-once-hailed-as-green/article_e6635f3a-b1a1-11ea-a7e6-8f9e6d246f85.html

July 

New “nurdle” spill discovered on Sullivan’s Island

https://abcnews4.com/news/local/new-nurdle-spill-discovered-on-sullivans-island

Mystery foam plastic beads wash up on Sullivan’s Island beach

https://www.postandcourier.com/news/mystery-foam-plastic-beads-wash-up-on-sullivans-island-beach/article_ec8507f4-bc89-11ea-ae7d-6768999ddbcf.html

Editorial: Preserve Charleston Harbor’s environment

https://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-preserve-charleston-harbors-environment/article_78496fb6-bfc1-11ea-9295-a7103ca40b7c.html

High bacteria levels found in Lowcountry waterways

https://www.live5news.com/2020/07/06/high-bacteria-levels-found-lowcountry-waterways/

A new plastic wave is coming to our shores

https://www.audubon.org/news/a-new-plastic-wave-coming-our-shores

Gadsden Creek becomes a flashpoint in Charleston discussion on environmental justice

https://www.postandcourier.com/news/gadsden-creek-becomes-a-flashpoint-in-charleston-discussion-on-environmental-justice/article_8a40ece8-c5e9-11ea-b50e-df363e8bef92.html

Local efforts aim to protect Charleston’s waterways

https://www.postandcourier.com/news/local-efforts-aim-to-protect-charlestons-waterways/article_155246be-c776-11ea-b54f-afca682d64c4.html

Charleston nurdle exporter says it was targeted by environmental groups

https://www.postandcourier.com/business/charleston-nurdle-exporter-says-it-was-targeted-by-environmental-groups/article_66c9d78c-cdcf-11ea-a724-6fb0b86c11c5.html

August 

Activist groups push back on Long Savannah project citing wetland development

https://www.live5news.com/2020/08/01/activist-groups-push-back-long-savannah-project-citing-wetland-development/

SC environmental groups say pellet exporter is shirking it’s responsibility for pollution

https://www.postandcourier.com/business/sc-environmental-groups-say-pellet-exporter-shirking-responsibility-for-pollution/article_5376c066-de4e-11ea-8314-ab52440410e6.html

3,100 gallons of diesel fuel leak from broker line at Charleston wastewater plant

https://www.postandcourier.com/news/3-100-gallons-of-diesel-fuel-leak-from-broken-line-at-charleston-wastewater-plant/article_f510f52e-df2d-11ea-8f5a-0312a3ba6f6e.html

Fuel Cleanup at Charleston Water System plan continues; ratepayer won’t bear cost

https://www.postandcourier.com/news/fuel-cleanup-at-charleston-water-system-plant-continues-ratepayers-won-t-bear-cost/article_b01e7398-e08f-11ea-9ba8-1b7927f6e16b.html

Fuel spill clean up nearly complete, likely caused by lightning officials say

https://abcnews4.com/news/local/fuel-spill-clean-up-nearly-complete-likely-caused-by-lightning-officials-say

September 

Flooding intensifies Charleston region’s racial and wealth inequities (with quote from Board Member Omar Muhammad) 

https://www.postandcourier.com/rising-waters/flooding-intensifies-charleston-regions-racial-and-wealth-inequities/article_7a5f724c-afc6-11ea-b878-2795af874a5b.html

Filthy floods cover Charleston area with poop bacteria, viruses and other dangers (with quote from Board Member Dr. Vijay Vulava)

https://www.postandcourier.com/rising-waters/filthy-floods-cover-charleston-area-with-poop-bacteria-viruses-and-other-dangers/article_97b6f1aa-9f5c-11ea-a3c3-176968e35a46.html

Lowcountry environmental groups team up to demand new septic tank revisions

https://www.live5news.com/2020/09/25/lowcountry-environmental-groups-team-up-demand-new-septic-tank-revisions/

October

Company accused of polluting ocean with plastic has an ally: SC Ports

https://www.thestate.com/news/state/south-carolina/article246064255.html

Judge denied motion to dismiss, new documents unveiled in 2019 plastic pellet spill

https://abcnews4.com/news/local/judge-denies-motion-to-dismiss-new-documents-unveiled-in-2019-plastic-pellet-spill

Rising Waters: Charleston’s floodwaters carry dangerous levels of bacteria, even when it’s sunny

https://www.postandcourier.com/rising-waters/charlestons-floodwaters-carry-dangerous-levels-of-bacteria-even-when-its-sunny/article_1e4536a0-0353-11eb-8304-7fb4057a8d15.html

November

SC Ports fights against lawsuit discovery in case about plastic pellet spill

https://www.postandcourier.com/news/sc-ports-fights-against-lawsuit-discovery-in-case-about-plastic-pellet-spill/article_d6f16f60-2820-11eb-b8f3-3f17a6f901ef.html

Mount Pleasant working to improve Shem Creek water quality

https://www.live5news.com/2020/11/30/mount-pleasant-working-improve-shem-creek-water-quality/

Mount Pleasant Town Council to discuss Shem Creek water quality on Monday 

https://www.counton2.com/news/local-news/mount-pleasant-town-council-to-discuss-shem-creek-water-quality-on-monday/

December

SCDNR, Charleston Waterkeeper work together to collect and reuse oyster shells

https://abcnews4.com/news/local/scdnr-charleston-waterkeeper-work-together-to-collect-and-reuse-oyster-shells

Plastic chokes hundreds of marine animals, including SC sea turtles, according to report

https://www.postandcourier.com/news/plastic-chokes-hundreds-of-marine-animals-including-sc-sea-turtles-according-to-report/article_fd711798-38a7-11eb-a205-abcec9a8abbb.html

 

All the work you see here is empowered by our community and supporters just like you. Join the fight for clean water today: CharlestonWaterkeeper.org/give